|Governor of Straits Settlements|
October 10, 1879|
Southwark, London, United Kingdom
|Died||January 15, 1962
London, United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Lucy Marguerite (Daisy) Montgomery|
|Children||Mary Bridget Thomas|
Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (1879-1962), GCMG, GCStJ, commonly known as Sir Shenton Thomas, was the last Governor of the Straits Settlements. He served from 1934 to 1942 during which time World War II began.
Shenton Thomas was born on 10 October 1879, in Southwark, London to The Rev Thomas William Thomas and his wife Charlotte Susanna (Susie) née Whitelegge. He was educated at St. John's School, Leatherhead and Queens' College, Cambridge. Before he went to Malaya as the colonial administrator, Thomas was the Governor of Nyasaland from 1929 to 1932. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in 1930.
Thomas was a prisoner-of-war during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, 15 February 1942 - 15 August 1945, having decided to stay in Singapore during the war. He was imprisoned in Cell 24 of Changi Prison along with Ernest Tipson. Thomas established the King George V Park in Malaya (later renamed the National Park of Malaysia). Today, Shenton Way, located in Singapore's business district, is named after him. After the war, Thomas remained as the 11th British High Commissioner in Malaya (9 November 1934 - 1 April 1946), until the Malayan Union was established and succeeded the British administration in the Straits Settlements (except for Singapore, which was created a separate colony), Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States, where the post of Governor-General of the Malayan Union was created.
Thomas died on 15 January 1962, at his home in London. He was 82.
- Mary Bridget Thomas (1914 - 1998), born in Nairobi, Kenya, who married 1st Lt-Col Jack Leslie Harry Lotinga and married 2nd in 1965 Nicholas Eliot, 9th Earl of St Germans.
In popular culture
- 1881 UK Census: Aged 1 of St John Villas, Park Lane, Heigham, Norfolk - RG11/1951 f.9 p.11 - Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas born Southwark
- 1901 UK Census: Aged 21 of The Vicarage, St Barnabas Road, Cambridge - RG13/1530 f.32 p.14 - Thomas Shenton W. Thomas born London
- GRO Register of Marriages: JUN 1912 1a 348 KENSINGTON - Thomas S. W. Thomas = Lucy M. Montgomery
- 1891 UK Census: Pupil, aged 10, of St John's School, Leatherhead Surrey - RG12/549 f.98 p.8 - Thomas Shenton Thomas born St Bride's London
- "Thomas, Thomas Shenton Whitelegge (THMS898TS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
Wilfred Bennett Davidson-Houston
|Governor of Nyasaland
Sir Hubert Winthrop Young
Geoffrey Northcote, acting
|Governor of the Gold Coast
Geoffrey Northcote, acting
Sir Cecil Clementi
|Governor of Straits Settlements & British High Commissioner in Malaya
British High Commissioner in Malaya
Sir Gerard Edward James Gent
Governor of Singapore
Sir Franklin Charles Gimson